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Those of you with large SPG points balances - what are you doing?

Those of you with large SPG points balances - what are you doing?

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Old Apr 30, 18, 11:16 am
  #1  
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Those of you with large SPG points balances - what are you doing?

A quick question for those of you with large point balances, what are you doing? I have about 500k. It's tempting to transfer all of this over to, say, Alaska before August, although who knows what's going on with their program and if the various miles charts will be devalued over there.

Are any of you trying to spend down your miles before the August date? If so, what are you doing?
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Old Apr 30, 18, 11:27 am
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Nothing out of the ordinary. I'm not in the "sky is falling" camp, running to poor value transfers based on no data (or based on ignoring actual data).

TPG has SPG points at 2.7 cents, Alaska at 1.9. Even at a full 25% bonus for 20K, that's a 12% loss right off the bat. And when the "great ways to use your Alaska points" starts with "you could, for example, use a free stopover to spend a few days in a hub like Seattle on a flight from New York to Anchorage", as opposed to 6K hotel properties around the world? I'll pass.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:04 pm
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I'm not enthusiastic about some of what has come out about the new merged program but like CPRich said, I'm not screaming the "sky is falling" yet either. When the merger was announced I was sitting on 1.1 MM SPG points. Since then I have stopped using my SPG Amex card and have used around 200k points. Since I'm in my last year of LTP qualification, I plan on qualifying for SPG Platinum this year to get me to LTP. Moving forward I will likely be more of a free agent for paid stays and work on reducing my overall points balance with Marriott/SPG.

In the end I think Marriott will loose a ton of Starwood elites due to a number of reasons. For me it boils down to them doling out Lifetime Platinum Premier to their members as well as the new devaluations on the credit card side. For paid stays I will be better off in the future upgrading my HH Amex to the Aspire card and getting 14 points per $1 spend while holding Diamond HH membership...than using one of the new Marriott Rewards cards and getting 6 Marriott points.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:12 pm
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Instead of transferring it directly to Alaska for 20k=25k. You can transfer it to Marriott then do the vacation packages 270k Marriott points for 120k Alaska points + 7 night category 1-5. Thats 90k SPG for 120k Alaska + 7 night category 1-5.
So with your 450k spg point for 5 packages with 50k left over. So 600k Alaska points instead of 625k but you still have 50k SPG point left over and 5 7 night category 1-5 certificate.

I heard you can refund each of those certificate for 45k each so thats 225k Marriott Points(Kinda a waste though) + the 50k spg point from before you can buy another cert. So 720k Alaska points + 1 7 night category 1-5 cert and 35k SPG points left over still.

Just a thought if you were going to transfer from SPG directly to Alaska. Its the same if you transfer after August 1st though, so no idea why you want to transfer it all before August 1st. Only thing that might change is the Marriott Vacation package.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:40 pm
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I'm saving up points at the moment and hope to spend some at SPG Cat 7 properties from August and have a bit more than usual on bids for some really interesting Moments. After that we'll see, but I suspect that I will still find the most value by retaining and using them over time on Starriott properties.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:42 pm
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Transferred to Marriott and redeemed travel packages.
Might as well get value before it's devalued.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:44 pm
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I burned 1/2 of my points before they announced the new program, staying at St Regis Maldives, Ritz Bali, Ritz Langkawi and other bucket list places. Now that they announced the changes, I am planning on keeping my points and proceeding business as usual for the most part. There are a few SPG Cat 7 properties that are going down in value from August to February that I may try to book, but I think the combined program won't be too different from how things are today
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Old Apr 30, 18, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I'm saving up points at the moment and hope to spend some at SPG Cat 7 properties from August.
I hate being such a pessimist but am I the only one thinking that this "award sweet spot" from August to December that everyone is hoping to cash in on will be a bust when there are no standard awards to book in these hotels come August. I like so many of us would like to take advantage of the sweet spot but the realist in me says not to believe in the marketing hype. Reality will be that they capacity control the hell out of the hotels. Do we really think they are just looking to give us such a good deal? And if corporate doesn't play with the award availability we all know that the hotels will just game the system before they give away a bunch of reward rooms. We have seen it time and time again with hotel not having any awards available because they just don't load the inventory.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 1:19 pm
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Converting to Marriott Reward points are actually a great deal! Nothing to lose. There are almost no situations imagineable in which 1 starpoint is worth more than 3 Marriott rewards points.

This merger is a HUGE win for SPG customers since they now have access to thousands more hotels and a program that has decent earn and burn.

I have a stay at the Dolphin tonight again in Disney and its shocking how crappy SPG is:

$230 Spend x3 = 690 points + 250 point promo so 940 points. Forfeit check in bonus for breakfast
YUCK!
Marriott would be 230 x 15 = 3450 + 500 (check in bonus) 3950 +Promo = 4700

So yeah.. its 5x more Marriott points in some cases and the points are usually 2.5 x less vauable... Marriott has awesome earn and burn.

Sucks we are losing the check in bonus (have to trade for breakfast) once the new program starts but happy to get resort breakfast -- I think they met us in the middle there.
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Last edited by aero0729; Apr 30, 18 at 1:29 pm
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Old Apr 30, 18, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
This merger is a HUGE win for SPG customers since they now have access to thousands more hotels and a program that has decent earn and burn.
Do you work for Marriott corporate? Why is the program a huge win for SPG customers? There are some benefits but also some devaluations and if you think the award chart is going to be all good then you clearly did not look at the teaser award chart. I think in big cities we might come out ahead or even at best even but there will be devaluations. Did you not see some hotels go up by as much as 14k points in the listing?

Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
Converting to Marriott Reward points are actually a great deal! Nothing to lose. There are almost no situations imagineable in which 1 starpoint is worth more than 3 Marriott rewards points.
This is true TODAY if you compare at 1 to 3 but it will look much different under the new award chart.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 1:42 pm
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The real devaluations will come 2019 and 2020 that's the problem.
I think we already noticed they also put the poison known as pepsi in all of our favorite hotels...
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Old Apr 30, 18, 2:47 pm
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Marriott has already said airline transfers aren’t going away. Why would you rush to transfer before you see the August redemption charts?
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:06 pm
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Does anyone know how the combined program is going to compensate hotels for award nights? SPG had a formula that greatly increased the payment when the hotel was (almost) full, so that hotels weren't terribly unwilling to give available standard rooms as award nights. I don't know what Marriott's policy has been on this, but I suspect it's different.....or maybe the MR program is just less willing to pay significant amounts of cash to hotels for our free nights, so that the capacity controls are imposed at the corporate level rather than by individual hotels.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Does anyone know how the combined program is going to compensate hotels for award nights? SPG had a formula that greatly increased the payment when the hotel was (almost) full, so that hotels weren't terribly unwilling to give available standard rooms as award nights. I don't know what Marriott's policy has been on this, but I suspect it's different.....or maybe the MR program is just less willing to pay significant amounts of cash to hotels for our free nights, so that the capacity controls are imposed at the corporate level rather than by individual hotels.
Oh yeah. I remember reading that epic court document detailing how SPG compensates hotels. When hotel is full, SPG pays the average rate (that is total room rate of all rooms of full hotel / number of rooms) for the room that's how that guarantee last room availability is so solid..
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Old Apr 30, 18, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
I hate being such a pessimist but am I the only one thinking that this "award sweet spot" from August to December that everyone is hoping to cash in on will be a bust when there are no standard awards to book in these hotels come August.
Much as I'm not a "sky is falling' guy, I'm also not "manna from heaven" that Bora Bora suites will be available at the new "Max Cat 7" in the short window. I'm not even sure they will be after 2019 and peak season Cat 8. No "massive devaluation", but no "super bargains'.

Believe it or not, I think the availability/costs will average out to about what they are now, and will undergo the annual average devaluation as we've seen over the past few years.
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